OAKLAND -- The fans were loud from start to finish. All wild-card game-record-breaking 54,005 of them.

Prior to the A's heartbreaking 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, there was a fluster of media presence, including an accidental elevator share with Alex Rodriguez and watching ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" do interviews with A's third baseman Matt Chapman and manager Bob Melvin.

Not quite what we're acccustomed to during a mid-week game at the Coliseum, but we embraced it.

Fans in the left-field bleachers were punctual as usual, getting their banners ready to show off. That crew made noise to some of the A's players who were standing around in left, shagging batting-practice balls. They shouted Ryan Buchter's name until he reacted with a wave, then Jake Diekman's. And cheered after each response.

Fans in the right-field bleachers hosted "Workaholics'" star Blake Anderson, who wanted to bang on the drums for the crowd after an in-game interview.

The fans were loud when pitcher after pitcher went in to pick up starter Sean Manaea. They were loud when each double play was easily made by the Rays. They even were loud when A's slugger Mark Canha struck out.

And it didn't go unnoticed.

"They were great. They were positive and stayed with us the whole time," Canha told reporters after the game. "I think they were kind of waiting for a rally, just like we were. They kept having faith in us, even down four in the last couple innings there, probably cheering their hardest."


Melvin, ever the professional, tipped his cap to the unique Oakland fans.

"It's disappointing," he said of the loss in front of such a robust crowd.

The team always wants to play in front of a big crowd, and it was beyond that Wednesday at the Coliseum.

"They were engaged from the first pitch of the game, they were engaged from the anthem on, and it felt like we just couldn't give them enough to really get into it," Melvin said. "But every inning they were up, every inning they were waving their towels and so forth, and it's disappointing we couldn't put on a better show for them."

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"They came out for us."

They certainly did.